Francis Gentleman

Life
1728-1784; appeared in Oroonoko, in Dublin, and produced The Modish Wife (1774) at Chester; published the Dramatic Censor anonymously in 1770; often relieved by Garrick, whom he ridiucled in his Stratford Jubilee. Edited Bell’s acting Shakespeare, played Sir Epicure Mammon in his Tobacconist (1771), adapted from The Alchemist. Author of 18th century plays and criticism, most famously, The Censor, 2 vols, 1770, which criticises contemporary playwrights. RR CAB ODNB PI DIW OCIL

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References
D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); Fortune, a rhapsody (1751); Narcissa and Eliza, dramatic tale in verse (1754); The Sultan of Love and Fame (1770); The Tobacconist, com. (1771), Zaphira, trag. (1754), The Coxcombs, farce (1771), The Mentalist, dramatic scene (1759); b. York St. Dublin 1728, d. George Lane [i.e. Sth. Gt. George’s St.] Dublin in poverty. Edition of Shakespeare. SEE also Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.180.

J. S. Crone, A Concise Dictionary of Irish Biography (Dublin: Talbot 1928), ed. Bell’s Acting Shakespeare; anonymous autobiog in Exshaw’s Mag (Dublin 1775) [O’Donoghue MSS]. CAB; b. York St., died in poverty. The Modish Wife (1773) considered his best play. ‘Here fawning priests with looks demure/In hopes to get a better cure/Appeared to grace the friendly crowd/And very low, for livings, bow’d’ (‘The Birthday’ from Royal Fables). [CAB]

Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (Tralee 1946), Francis Gentleman 1728-1784; 15 pieces, mostly adaptations; Sejanus (1752), from Jonson; Osman (Bath c.1753), not printed; Zaphira (Bath 1754), not printed; The Sultan or Love and Fame (Bath, York and Scarborough c. 1754; Hay, 1769) 1770, orig. from Turkish history; Richard II (Bath 1754), from Shakespeare, not printed; The Mentalist, satire (Manchester c.1759), not printed; The Fairy Court, interlude (Chester c.1770), played by children, 15 nights; The Tobacconist, com. (Edinburgh, c.1750; Hay, 22 July 1771) 1771, from Jonson’s Alchemist; The Modish Wife (Chester 1761; Hay, 18 Sept. 1773) 1774 ed. with account of author; Oroonoko, orf the Royal Slave (Edinburgh c.1760, DL 11 Mar 1769, expurgated Southerne; The Stratford Jubilee, com. (Stratford on Avon, c. 1769) 1769; The Coxcombs (Hy 16 Sept 1771), alteration of Jonson’s Epicoene, not printed; Cupid’s Revenge, past. (Hay, 27 July 1772) 1772, mus. by Hook; The Pantheonites, dram, ent. (Hay 3 Sept 1773) 1773; Orpheus and Eurydice, op. (Smock Alley, 1783), trans. from Italian. Author of Dramatic Censor, and a ‘worst’ ed. of Shakespeare, for Bell, 1774, 1775.

W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; 1984), cites F. Gentleman, Orpheus and Eurydice (1783) [110].

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